I can sympathize with this narrative and it is pretty much verified at this point that the "reputation management" industry is a very real scourge on the Internet today. I suspected this was involved back when I saw the flood of comments and opinion pieces villifying and blaming Sanders and Stein for Trump's victory.
On this matter though I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment here, mostly based on a good deal of thought on real life experiences that I have. My wife has always disliked Assange and she jumped on this bandwagon quite willingly of demonizing him. I can assure you I know a thing or two about her, and I can promise she is not part of any PR campaign she is aware of. Let me offer a simpler explanation.
If anything this election season has taught myself and many people is that there are a lot of powerful entities with a vested interest in public opinion being swayed one way or another. Each side is accusing the other of fake news and both sides are using various disingenuous tactics and journalistic practices to confirm this on all sides. People simply are skeptical of everything. Human nature is such that not having conviction in your beliefs is stressful. We may be on the fence, unsure of what to believe, and we will be hyper focused looking for a tiny little piece of evidence to send us over the edge to a strong conviction.
Julian Assange has been a net positive benefit for society in general. There is also a huge smear campaign against him that is hard to verify. We all suspect that the rape charges against him may have been a snare to get him under control and punish him, but we can't know for sure that he didnt in fact commit these crimes. This statement in light of his tweet shows us something concrete and negative about his character that millions of people will have an overblown and visceral reaction to because it is so clear and easily verified. There is no doubt what was said in his tweet versus what is said by his lawyer. This was that one small piece of evidence that people were looking for to give them the conviction of belief they so desperately want.
A really interesting take I heard on NPR was from a woman from GirlsWhoCode and her take on why women fare worse in programming than men.
She told a story about a high school CS class where the students were given an assignment and told to code it. An hour goes by and the boys in the class all turn their assignment in before the class is over, some got the best solution, some got an acceptable solution, some turned in code that didn't even compile. The girl in the class walked up for help because she said she just didn't know where to start. The teacher replied, "Well what did you attempt to do?" only to find her code editor was completely blank. After 45 minutes not a single line of code written.
The interesting thing is that for every girl that does this, she will start hitting Undo and it will reveal that she in fact coded a solution that was partially complete or almost there but she ended up erasing everything before asking for help. The boys almost never had shame in turning in sloppy or unfinished code.
The important takeaway from this is that girls are raised in our culture to strive for perfection. They are constantly bombarded with perfect ideals from the time they are children to the time they are adults. They are actively disservicing themselves by sabotaging their own efforts when they are not immediately perfect at what they are trying to accomplish. They would rather turn in nothing or give up on interviews than present something less than ideal.
This explains why women fare worse and give up sooner in interviews than men. Boys are taught from a young age to keep getting up, keep trying, failure is okay and is how we learn. Praises and complements don't make us stronger, failure and pain make us stronger. Girls are taught that the prettiest girl gets a free ride in life. She was innately born to be beautiful, she was perfect without trying. Their self worth is programmed to be externalized from a young age to where validation and praise from others defines who a young woman is.
Women suck at programming because the patriarchy programmed them to be that way.
it is not something that is inherent in poverty, either.
No that is the exact opposite conclusion actually. It has EVERYTHING to do with REAL poverty.
The problem with comparing the US to other advanced countries is that with the social services and money that is spent on them in those countries, even when you are born into a poor family in Sweden lets say, you are immediately and profoundly more wealthy than your American counterpart. This wealth isn't judged in dollars, cents and purchasing power however in excellent public transportation, strong workers rights, disability programs, top notch education for all, excellent first world healthcare, retirement benefits and more.
Societal wealth makes all the difference here. A better comparison to America would be a country like Saudi Arabia. You have a handful of disgustingly wealthy people who control almost all of the actionable power and wealth in society, a single digit percentage of REAL middle class (and I mean the real definition of middle class not this bogus American definition that was created for political expediency). If you are REALLY middle class then you are afforded modern conveniences and a level of financial, retirement, educational and healthcare security to where you don't have to frequently worry too hard about being poor in the near or long term future.
Also just like Saudi Arabia, the rest of the society is so broke they're broken, so poor they can't even pay attention.
They take control of your business by basically giving founders a playbook in how to extort employees by giving them terrible stock options where they can be watered down with each round of funding, and then teach founders how to fellate their egos that they are somehow the same, temporarily embarrassed entrepreneurs just a few years away from being millionaires themselves.
They work their employees like they are founders but when the company takes off they are often left behind with a pathetic payout in comparison. This is what YCombinator does for startups. You are probably just too young to remember what Silicon Valley was like before they came around.
Hi Jeff, I am a long time Stack Exchange user and community moderator on Programmers.
You seem to operate your startup space out of New York as opposed to the popular incubator location of the Silly Valley. Is this out of a conscious choice or rejection of the Silicon Valley VC culture? If so, what is your opinion of the potentially unethical recruiting strategies and inherent discrimination of these strategies as employed and evangelized to founders by organizations like Y Combinator? Do you have any opinions of Y Combinator?
Perhaps this is my failure to truly understand the scope of the problem, but where is the real motivation for hackers to compromise MRI machines and CAT scanners? Seriously. Why would somebody go to any level of effort and for that matter risk the felony charges that would come as a result?
I am not questioning that such a thing would be a violation of privacy. I am also not questioning that there is potential for serious harm to be maliciously done to or against somebody. I merely question the scope of the threat in terms of motivating factors. It is clear to me the motivating factor of compromising email. Serious hackers are motivated by Nationalism/Activism, financial gain, or sexual thrill/lulz. Hack the email account of important people or enemies and use private information to damage them or their cause. This can also get you closer to hacking their bank account for money, or possibly finding lewd or compromising content that can be used to blackmail them for money. Or maybe you are just doing it for the thrill of potentially finding sexual content that others are not supposed to see.
Beyond just the occasional script kiddie doing it for the lulz, I don't see many motivating factors to go through the trouble. Even if you leave the door to your house wide open, the vast majority of people won't risk walking in, especially if they know there is little of value in the house, and especially if they know the danger of being caught. It is still trespassing even if your door is open because of the fact that you weren't invited.
Any given program will expand to fill available memory.